Thursday, 5 April 2012

Happy Dandelion Day!

April 5th is National Dandelion Day! 

The Spring season is the perfect time to turn your attention to this humble hardy plant. 

Dandelion is derived from the French 'Dents de Lion', translated as 'Lion's Teeth', suggestive of its sharp toothy leaves & warm yellow lion's mane of a flowerhead. Despite its sunny appearance and majestic name, this nutritional powerhouse is often one of the least cherished in the garden - considered an ugly weed and the unwanted persistent guest of many a gardener. 

To the herbalist, the common Dandelion is a plant to be respected and revered, a welcome friend reappearing in its glory every springtime with its nutritional gifts. To me, the tenacity of the Dandelion is a strong indication of its potent abilities. Its latin name, Taraxacum officinale is suggestive of its many healing virtues recognised at least since ancient Greek times. The genus Taraxacum is derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder) and akos (remedy).

The Dandelion is rich in vitamins & minerals, especially vitamins A, B, C, D and potassium. Traditionally it is used as a remedy to heal liver, digestive, immunity & skin imbalances.

The bright yellow flower heads and petals may be plucked to make into wines & jams, sprinkle as a garnish to brighten any dish, infused into oils for creams & ointments.

The young leaves may be added to spring tonic teas, soups & salads - its bitterness improving appetites, digestion and elimination through the liver and kidneys.

The regular application of the sap has been used remove warts and blemishes. The root may be chopped & roasted, used as a tasty, nourishing and cleansing coffee substitute.

There is something so light-hearted and liberating about blowing a Dandelion's seed head into the wind and watching them float and dance merrily into the breeze.

I hope you will feel inspired to celebrate and appreciate the noble and mighty Dandelion.

If you have any favourite dandelion home remedies or experiences you would like to share, I'd love to hear them...

Wishes for Happiness, Health & Delightful Dandelion Day to you all!

With Dandelion Sunshine & Warmth,


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